Excluding bundles, there are a total of 19 different types of weapons - each profession having access to a specific selection of them. Furthermore, each profession utilizes weapons differently from one another, giving a wider scope in play style. A warrior's use of the axe, for example, focuses on building adrenaline quickly and spiking for high amounts of damage, while the ranger uses axes as throwing hatchets for ranged attacks.
Character weapons are split into four primary categories based on how they are held:
- Two-handed — requires both hands to wield it.
- One-handed — can be wielded in either the main hand, the off hand, or one in each hand, depending on the profession.
- Off-hand — can only be used in the off hand.
- Aquatic — can only be used in underwater mode. Requires both hands.
Every character has at minimum (depending on profession) a set of 3 different weapon slots:
- The main hand slot can hold one one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon.
- The off hand slot can hold one off-hand weapon or, depending on the profession, a one-handed weapon, but can not be used when a two-handed weapon is equipped.
- The aquatic weapon slot can hold one aquatic weapon.
All professions have a second set of weapon slots and the ability to switch between two weapon sets while in combat, with the exception of elementalist and engineer who cannot weapon swap in combat. Elementalist and engineer also can equip only one set of aquatic weapon. However, the elementalist's attunements give it the equivalent of four weapon sets to choose from, and the engineer has engineering kits which can be used to change weapon skills.
When combined with profession, equipped weapons (and shields) determine the first five skills on the character's skill bar.
All weapons have a range of weapon strength which, in combination with Power and the opponent's armor, affects the strike damage dealt with that weapon's skills. In addition, a weapon can provide up to 4 attribute bonuses (there are also items that provide small bonuses for 7 attributes) based on its prefix, and often includes a slot for an upgrade component. The amount of weapon strength and attribute bonuses depend on the weapon's required level and quality. Weapon strength is always the same for a given weapon type at a particular level and quality (for example, all masterwork shields with a level requirement of 35 have 279-314 weapon strength), but damage might still vary depending on which attributes the weapon improves (e.g. a weapon that improves power will end up dealing more damage than a weapon that improves toughness).
A weapon can be wielded or stowed, where it is visible on the back or hip of the character. Stowing away a weapon can be used to cancel the current action, e.g. auto attacking or a utility skill. (The in-game options panel allows you to bind a key to the "Stow/Draw Weapons" command).
Strength relative to rarity
For the same level requirement, strength improves with the grade of weapon rarity.
|Rarity||Strength[note 1]||Increase[note 2]||Attributes[note 3]||Increase[note 4]|
|Basic||551 – 609||n/a||54 Power, 52 Precision, 52 Ferocity||n/a|
|Fine||690 – 762||25.17%||91 Power, 65 Precision, 65 Ferocity||39.87%|
|Masterwork||745 – 823||7.99%||98 Power, 70 Precision, 70 Ferocity||7.69%|
|Rare||802 – 886||7.65%||106 Power, 75 Precision, 75 Ferocity||7.56%|
|Exotic||905 – 1000||12.86%||120 Power, 85 Precision, 85 Ferocity||13.28%|
|Ascended||950 – 1050||4.99%||125 Power, 90 Precision, 90 Ferocity||5.17%|
|Legendary||950 – 1050||0%||125 Power, 90 Precision, 90 Ferocity||0%|
- ^ Level 80 sword stats used for comparison.
- ^ Above prior rarity. Here calculated using the average of the strength minimum and maximum value. Result rounded to two digits.
- ^ Berserker.
- ^ Above prior rarity. Here calculated using the sum of the individual attribue values. Result rounded to two digits.
Weapons can be acquired in several different ways:
- Starting equipment.
- Purchased from a vendor.
- Purchased from the Trading Post.
- Crafted through the disciplines of weaponsmith, huntsman, and artificer.
- Crafted through the Mystic Forge.
- Looted from a monster or a chest.
- Reward from completing parts of your personal story.
- Reward from completing a dungeon's story mode.
- Reward for killing a raid boss.
- Reward from certain PvP Reward Tracks.
- Reward from certain WvW Reward Tracks.
- See also: Equipment acquisition by stats
Weapons cannot be dyed.
Weapons are classified in two categories depending on their skin:
- Weapon sets: Collections of weapon skins that share visual characteristics and name patterns.
- Standalone weapons: Weapon skins that aren't part of any weapon set.
Weapon skins can be transmuted to alter their original appearance.
A bundle, also known as environmental weapons, (such as a Boulder) can be obtained while adventuring by either picking them up off the ground or given to you by an npc. When equipped they suppress the normal weapon sets of the character in favor of their own special skills. Bundles are either one use only, have a time limit, or have a limited number of uses before they are destroyed. Dropping the bundle (either with your Drop Bundle key or with a skill the weapon comes with) will return you to your normal skill set.
Weapon usability by professions
|Main hand only||Scepter||10||00||00||00||00||0||10||10||10||4+1|
|Number of usable weapons||11+2||7+3||11+3||4+3||10+2||6+3||5+3||9+3||8+3|
|14 (21)||8 (12)||21 (36)||4 (9)||13 (19)||9 (13)||6 (11)||12 (22)||12 (19)|
- 1 The profession can use this weapon in this slot.
- 0 The profession cannot use this weapon in this slot.
- 0 The weapon cannot be used in this slot.
- Elite specialization icon: This specialization must be equipped to use this weapon in this slot.
- 1 Chains and sequence skills are counted as one skill. The number in () includes Engineering Kit, Conjure, Gunsaber, Death Shroud, Reaper's Shroud, Harbinger Shroud skills respectively. The number in  includes dual wield skills with no off-hand equipped.
- 2 Possible weapon combinations show core first, then total including all elites in ().
- Weapons will scale based on the size of the character wielding them, so the same weapon will be smaller for an asura compared to a norn. The scaling is proportional, so a large weapon will still seem large when wielded by an asura.
- It's not necessary to have three of the same weapon to have a weapon set with dual wielded weapons and another with one of those weapons. It is possible to simply equip the different weapon alone along an empty slot in the other weapon set, and the game will not swap the weapon with the empty slot, only the other one.